I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it’s not the answer. ~Jim Carrey
From a very young age, we are told that the more money we make, the happier we will be. Rarely do we hear this said to us directly, but TV shows, movies, and ads on social media make it clear that– according to society– if we’re rich, we can #liveourbestlife.
Wealth Does Not Equal Happiness
But the history of lottery winners proves otherwise. At first, winning the lottery is a huge gift. And then, things can get nasty. A quick internet search shows story after story about lottery winners’ ruined lives due to their sudden monetary windfall.
There have also been some studies done to test the correlation between happiness and wealth. According to a recent study, more money only brings more happiness up to a certain point. Once we have our needs met and maybe have a bit of extra cash for fun activities, having more money does not equate to more happiness.
You Cannot Serve Both
We are constantly told by society that money is the answer to our problems– but it’s clear from the examples above that more money not only doesn’t solve our problems, it can also cause more problems. Jesus has been telling us this for 2,000 years:
No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth. (Matthew 6:24)
How often do we believe the lies of society and take a certain job only because of the salary amount? And how many times are we miserable in that job because our decision was only about money?
Jesus invites us to a different life– one that does not revolve around money, but around serving God. We are created by God to love God and serve God by serving others. We cannot fulfill our God-given purpose if we focus our lives around the accumulation of wealth rather than loving and serving God.
If we continue to think that money is the answer– if we continue to have money as the focus of our lives, we will miss out on many of the good things God is continuously and lovingly offering us. We will miss out on why we were created and put on earth by God in the first place.
Love God, not Money
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and in their eagerness to be rich some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains. (1 Timothy 6:10)
This Bible verse is often misquoted as: “Money is the root of all evil.” But that’s not the point of the verse at all– money itself is not evil. We need money to stay alive, to buy food and necessities.
What God wants us to remember is the the love of money can cause evil in our lives. When we love money, our love is misplaced. Loving money means that money can easily become an idol in our lives– and then we are unable to love God fully because our love for God is misplaced. As we are reminded in the Bible verse above, loving money can cause us to focus less on God, causing us pain.
We are invited to fully love God by rejecting society’s love of money. We are called by God to live a life focused around loving God and others, rather than living a life focused around love of money and accumulating wealth.
God is guiding and helping us live as we were created to live– as people loving and serving God, not money.